Warner Music still doesn't have a deal with YouTube and some other labels complain their share of revenue form the online video channel. But not be on YouTube, is to miss out on those unforeseeable viral moments that it and its fans sometimes create and the income that follows.
Take for example the case of Chris Brown's "Forever". New fans have not exactly been flocking to Brown since his attack on pop singer Rhianna. But an unusual entrance to a St. Paul. MN wedding choreographed to his song attracted 12 million plays in a week on YouTube and garnered the newlyweds an appearance on The Today show. "The JK Wedding Entrance" video pushed Brown's year old song jumped to #4 on iTunes.
"It was a win-win-win for us, the labels and Apple," YouTube's director of content Jason Hoffner told a crowd at yesterday's Digital Media Summit. Chris Brown's label Jive and YouTube shared revenues from both accompanying ad placements and download sales and Apple got their piece of the later. If Brown had been on a WMG, the inevitable take down would have prevented both the viral promotion and the income that it produced.